Published August 16 - 22, 2000
A Guide to Finding News From Far-Flung Places The Really World Wide Web
by James Ridgeway
The last place to look for worldwide news is the mainstream American media.
Instead, turn to the Web, where you can skip weeks ahead of our lame
excuses for international reporting and, in a kick-ass minute, find out
what's really going on.
Though nothing has ever matched the BBC's radio bulletins of the World War
II blitz of London, when whole families huddled around the radio and
strained to hear Edward R. Murrow's reports over the exploding bombs, a mix
of independent journalists and major media outlets have begun to create a
new kind of reportage online, one that in tone and scope sets the stage for
BBC.co.uk: During last year's war in Kosovo, the British news corps's
speedy headline service far outpaced the efforts of the Associated Press's
stodgy dodgers. The BBC is a little centrist for some tastes, but it's
strong on breaking stories.
www.Guardianunlimited.co.uk: This is the home of Britain's Guardian, the
most sensible paper in English.
Independent.co.uk: Another British paper, the Independent is unbeatable for
Itar-tass.com: This press agency had the goods on Russian military
operations during the Kosovo conflict and diplomatic bickering from the
unhappy campers in NATO, namely the Italians.
www.Stratfor.com: When the bombs fell over the Balkans, this site lobbed
hour-by-hour (sometimes minute-by-minute) intelligence takes.
B92 Radio: Banned from Belgrade, this station was picked up and broadcast
online at freeb92.net by Dutch backers. It provided lengthy reports on the
toll of bombing within Yugoslavia.
Perry Castaņeda Library Map Collection: Hosted by the University of Texas,
this Web-based archive filled the gaps in online Kosovo coverage by
providing aerial and ground maps that allowed the viewer to plot the course
of any military maneuver, whether it came up from the southern staging
points in Albania or swept down out of Hungary. Found at
Russia List: David Johnson's daily listserv dishes out the most pointed
stories from Moscow and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Johnson,
an inspired researcher who works days at the Center for Defense
Information, includes mercifully small doses of windy rent-a-professors.
He also compiles a weekly edition called the CDI Russia Weekly. Both are
free. Just e-mail a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Back issues of the CDI
Russia Weekly are available at cdi.org/russia.
Themoscowtimes.com: This English-language paper has been around since 1992,
delivering news on everything from soccer to economics.
Russiajournal.com: An English-language business rag, The Russia Journal
covers subjects from commerce to defense and politics.
International War and Peace Report: Found at iwpr.net, this site tracks
what's going down daily in places like Chechnya, where guerrillas continue
to fight a dogged, determined battle. The Report is also strong on the
continuing nightmare in the Balkans.
Russiatoday.com: Part of the up-and-coming European Internet Network,
Russia Today offers a combination of news, analysis, and chat rooms.
Centraleurope.com: For most Americans, Europe stops at Vienna. But that's
where the new Europe actually begins its wild ride down the Danube all the
way to Istanbul. Central Europe, a sister publication of Russia Today,
offers the same mix of breaking headlines and cultural information, but
with an eye toward countries like Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, and the Czech
Insidechina.com: Another European Internet Network site, this one covers
Chinese news, from politics to defense.
Central Europe Review: Found at www.ce-review.org, this weekly journal
covers politics and culture, with an intellectual bent.
Central Asia Caucasus Analyst: This Johns Hopkins journal is a tad stuffy,
but it's a great source for information on the developments in the Caspian
Sea region, where Kazakhstan recently confirmed a huge oil find, shoving
the Middle East into the background. Found at www.cacianalyst.org.
Eurasianet.org: The nonprofit foundation has its own take on the Caspian
Sea oil play, and a ticker that at least makes a stab at providing news.
Reuters.com: Instead of watching the AP wires, keep a sharp eye out for
this news agency's terrific regional reports.
Agence France Presse: Like Reuters, www.afp.com is a strong source for
speedy foreign reports.
Bellona.no/e: An English-language version of a Norwegian site packed with
information on antinuclear issues.
Vshiva.org: The American press barely reports on the international revolt
against the financial practices of Western banks in the developing world.
To follow the fight, head to Vandana Shiva's Delhi Web site, which can give
you a whiff of the revolution straight from the small farms of the
subcontinent where it flourishes with an intensity seen nowhere else in the
Focusweb.org: Walden Bello is probably the single most important figure in
describing the effects of international financial capital on developing
economies, especially those in Asia.
Africannews.com: Forty news organizations contribute to this site. The best
of them is the Dakar-based PanAfricanNews Agency, found at
www.Politicalresources.net/africa.htm: This portal opens a door to all
things African, including the Norwegian Council for Africa's must-read
Index on Africa.
Latin American Network Information Center: This portal, hosted by the
University of Texas at lanic.utexas.edu, is the best bet for sorting out
news and issues concerning Latin America.